Board of Trustees welcomes CSU alumna and undergrad student as newest members

Cleveland State University alumna Nikki Byrd and current electrical engineering major Akshat Shah have been appointed to the Board of Trustees by Gov. Mike DeWine, announced by the university July 31.

Byrd earned her bachelor’s degree in communications and graduated magna cum laude from CSU. Later, she served in the United States Air Force for four years.

Today, she is a senior editor at American Greetings, with a “demonstrated track record of driving innovation and leading strategic editorial direction for a portfolio of world-class brands,” according to a CSU press release.

“We are thrilled and elated to welcome Nikki to our esteemed Board of Trustees,” David Reynolds, Chair of CSU’s Board of Trustees, said in a press release. “We gain a visionary leader in our returning Viking, who embodies the invaluable qualities of grit, tenacity, and strategic thinking.”

Byrd also served on the CSU Alumni Association Board from 2015 to 2021, the CSU Foundation Board from 2018 to 2021, and was also a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Visiting Committee (formerly known as CLASS) from 2019 to 2022.

Her term as a Trustee member ends May 2032.

Shah is currently on track to graduate from CSU in Spring 2026, and has been appointed to the board as a student representative.

In high school, he was senior class president and a member of the National Honors Society.

“I am very honored to have been chosen for this role,” said Shah in a press release. “I look forward to working to represent all of the various, diverse student communities that make Cleveland State such an incredible place to learn.”

His term will last two years.

Author: Mays Turabi

Avid writer, coffee-drinker, art lover. Oh, and Editor-in-Chief for The Cauldron.